Saturday, February 18, 2012
Mariano Rivera analogy makes its way into defense counsel lore
2/17/12, "‘Linsanity’ Finds its Way Into Federal Court," Wall St. Journal Law Blog
"Defense attorneys and prosecutors are often likened to a range of athletes, from hard-slugging prize fighters, to tennis players volleying complex legal arguments across the courtroom.
It was only a matter of time before somebody in a big time federal case referenced Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks’ Harvard-educated point-guard who’s become an unlikely international superstar.
During a hearing in Manhattan federal court Thursday evening, defense attorney Gary Naftalis, who is representing former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta in an insider trading case, explained that co-counsel David Frankel would be making the argument.
Naftalis said the switch was analogous to New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera coming to replace starter A.J. Burnett.
Judge Rakoff, who is presiding over the case, said he was surprised the defense chose Rivera for the metaphor, and not the more newsworthy Lin, who got his shot at glory after coming off the Knicks bench to star at point guard for the team.
That’s when lead prosecutor Reed Brodsky stood up and assured Rakoff that if there are any “Jeremy Lins” in the courtroom, they are on the side of the government. The high-priced hurlers– the “Mariano Riveras” of the world —
- were all on the defense, Brodsky said.
The courtroom had a good chuckle, but Brodsky did have a point. Federal prosecutors make a fraction of the salary of top defense attorneys like Naftalis.
Indeed, the deep-pocketed New York Yankees pay Mariano Rivera $15 million a year, according to the salary tracking company Spotrac. Lin makes a paltry $762,195.
We won’t know if Mr. Brodsky hit any legal three-pointers during the hearing until Judge Rakoff makes his ruling, but Mr. Brodsky did hold his own in “court.”"